The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on hotels and their market performance has been much worse than previous incidents like the SARS 2003 outbreak, the global financial crisis and the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008.

Hospitality and tourism consultancy Horwath HTL conducted a sentiments survey in the industry in India which revealed a third of its respondents expect the impact to last all through 2020. As per the Horwath HTL survey, around 35% of the respondents, expect the impact to last through four to six months, while 32% of the respondents expect the outbreak to impact operations for 6-12 months. 21% of the respondents expect the impact to continue for three months and another 12% expect the impact to last for 2 months.

About 85% respondents expect an over 30% decline in total revenue for their hotels in first half of the year (January to June) compared to the first half of last year. Around 57% respondents expect an over 40% decline in total revenue for their hotels while another 32% expect an over 50% decline in revenues.

Around 87% respondents expect an over 30% decline in occupancies in the first half of this year while another 37% of the respondents expect an over 50% decline in occupancies.

As per Horwath, most hotels had a buoyant January and February this year, though the impact on travel from China, Far East, Singapore and Hong Kong had started filtering through in February.

The firm said it believes the material assessment of impact being over 50% in occupancies is tied to uncertainty over the timing and pace of removal of lockdown – and the likely hesitation of people to travel.

About 56% respondents said they are expecting a decline in average daily rates between 10-30% while 25% said they are expecting a decline in average daily rates by upto 40%.

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